Thursday, September 24, 2009

Recipes by Request - Meringues

Certain recipes are so basic, and yet, each baker takes the same two or three ingredients and produces different results. One of the most basic cookie is a meringue. Consisting of just four ingredients, they can be light as air, hard as a rock, or, like I make them = crisp outside with marshmallowy sweetness inside - The tricks are to have patience when adding the sugar, and to only bake the meringues for about 20 minutes. The disadvantage to this method though is that they have limited shelf life - a day or two in warmer, more humid weather, a bit longer in the winter - but once you get the knack, you'll find they're so easy to make (and fat free!) that it's worth making a fresh batch when you want - the added bonus is that it's likely you always have the ingredients and they cost nearly nothing to make.

Deb's Meringues

2 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (or lemon juice)
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 335 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Put egg whites and cream of tartar in mixing bowl with whip attachment. Start beating on slow speed. When egg whites are frothy, increase speed to high and begin adding the sugar about 2 tablespoons at a time, allowing a minute between addditions. When sugar is all incorporated and mixture is very thick and stiff beat in vanilla. Pipe into 1 to 2 inch mounds (or drop with spoon) onto prepared sheets. Bake 20 - 25 minutes.

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